The 8 Best JavaScript Chart Libraries for Web Development

Adding graphics to your UI helps you tell stories in a visually compelling way. But how do you achieve this without writing long code from scratch? It’s easy. All you need is a proper JavaScript graphics library to turn your data into finished plots.

Whether you want to create real-time charts or need to show your users a historical trend, these are the best JavaScript libraries you can use.


Chart.js landing page

Chart.js is an open source JavaScript library for creating HTML charts. It is one of the simplest visualization libraries for JavaScript, and it supports line, bar, scatter, donut, pie, radar, area, and bubble charts.

One of its unique features is its ability to animate and customize graphics to fit the experience you want for your user interface (UI). Chart.js is also quite simple to integrate. Whether you’re writing vanilla JavaScript or using a front-end stack like React or Angular, all you need to do is install Chart.js as a package or call it from the CDN.

Related:How to Create a Chart with Chart.js

Ultimately it accepts an X and Y array, and all the code runs in simple object logic to display your chart on the front-end in an HTML canvas based on the data it reads . And you can combine graphics if you want.


Journals homepage

Here is a handy JavaScript graphics library for React programmers. Built with a combination of React and D3.js, Recharts uses scalable vector graphics (SVG) to render graphics primarily in React. So if you’re using Vanilla JavaScript, you might want to consider other graphics library options.

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The library supports 11 chart types. And besides being a React component itself, each part of a chart rendered in Recharts, including the legend, axes, etc., is an independent component inside a parent.

Therefore, you can customize each component by manipulating the props to your liking. This means you can easily plug and uncouple parts of the graph from the whole without affecting other React components.


CanvasJS homepage

CanvasJS is versatile, fast, simple and offers up to 30 types of graphics rendered in HTML divs rather than a canvas. It’s also highly customizable, with support for combinations of animations and graphics. One of its unique features allows you to dynamically change the theme of your chart in the UI.


In addition to JavaScript front-end frameworks, it supports graphics rendering in server-side technologies such as PHP, ASP.NET, and MVC stacks. It also provides simple workarounds in the documentation for different scenarios.

The library even comes from a professional angle as a dashboard tool to visualize data from different perspectives. It’s easy to plot stock charts with canvasJS. And finally, it has separate CDNs for stock and general charts.


D3js landing page

If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty creating an SVG and declaring axes from zero before plotting the actual graph, you can check out D3.js for drawing graphs on your website. Although it is more detailed than other JavaScript chart libraries, it gives you greater control over the chart area and its contents.

The fact that it is powerful and operates at a lower level than other JavaScript graphics libraries makes it an ideal tool when performance is the ultimate goal. Its API offers built-in CSS attributes that allow you to style your graphics however you like.

And because you control the SVG container, you can design the theme of the chart based on your UI design. D3.js can be technical when you start. Ultimately, once you know your way around, you can plot just about any type of chart with it.


Google Charts map library page

Google Charts uses HTML5 and SVG to write custom charts in the document object model (DOM). It’s easy to use and provides enough examples in its documentation that you won’t feel lost along the way. It also provides a way to connect to various data sources that support the GUI protocol.

Related:Free HTML Templates to Create Quick Websites Easily

It provides a DataTable class that makes it easy to split, filter, and modify your data into separate tables of columns and rows. The library also removes the need for extra calculations when coding a graph. For example, you don’t need to calculate the percentage distribution of your data when plotting a pie chart. He does it for you.

Each chart type in Google Charts comes as a JavaScript class and you can easily assign the data object and customization options to separate variables. Therefore, it allows you to pass them separately to the main chart class. Indeed, its logic is neat and complete.


Apexcharts gallery page

ApexCharts.js is an open source JavaScript library for making charts responsive to the UI. You will find it user-friendly to use, especially with its comprehensive documentation.

ApexCharts.js has earned its reputation for offering customization options that allow you to modify your charts to fit different screen sizes without worrying about additional styling. It also supports many chart types used in daily visualizations.

This library also works well with multiple charts. The combination of different chart types in a single grid is one of its strengths.


ChartisJS landing page

Chartist.js is an open source project that grew out of its community of contributors’ dissatisfaction with other JavaScript charting libraries. It uses the combination of SVG, CSS, and inline JavaScript to draw, style, configure, and finally render the graphics in the DOM.

This chart library also offers different types of charts offered by many other libraries. Chartists.js offers strong support for CSS animation and responsiveness. Therefore, its graphical outputs adapt dynamically according to the screen size.

Although the animation effects are unique, working with this library can be tricky for beginners. Still, you’ll find the full, editable examples in the documentation helpful for any customization or animation you want to add.


billboardjs landing page

Whether you’re working with a front-end JavaScript, TypeScript, or simple JavaScript stack, billboard.js is simple and worth using. It is a JavaScript graphics library based on D3 v4.


The library supports 21 chart types and has full examples for each in its API documentation. This makes it easy to learn and reliable for quickly creating visualizations in your UI.

Related:JavaScript Frameworks Worth Learning

All the code you need to create a chart with billboard.js is in one object layer, and inserting data is easy because you can split the data into separate tables to draw as many charts as you want.

Tell stories on your website with JavaScript

Open source tools make programming quick and easy these days. Presenting charts is one of the steps in your project where you can save a lot of time by using one of these existing JavaScript chart libraries.

Also, they have the added benefit of making your application more modular and lightweight without requiring you to write additional scripts.

Drawing graphics with JavaScript frameworks is just the tip of the iceberg for the language of the web. There are countless projects waiting to be created. Happy hacking!


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About the Author

James S. Joseph